Here are the biggest CBD news stories from this week:
- Ohio bill legalizing hemp production and CBD products goes to the House floor
- Louisiana bill to legalize hemp and CBD goes to the governor
- Fed will tell banks they can work with hemp companies
Table of Contents
- Ohio Bill Legalizing Hemp And CBD Passes House Committee
- Louisiana Hemp And CBD Bill Approved By Senate
- Fed To Clarify To Banks They Can Work With Hemp Companies
Ohio Bill Legalizing Hemp and CBD Passes House Committee
A bill that would legalize hemp farming and the selling of CBD products passed an Ohio House committee this week.
The bill will now move to the House floor and could be voted on as early as next week.
The Ohio Senate first passed Senate Bill 57 in late March.
Language in the bill, such as the 0.3% THC limit, would make Ohio state law congruent with the federal position.
Additionally, the bill would allow for CBD products to be sold in stores instead of solely dispensaries, as the Ohio Board of Pharmacy suggested in a legal memo last year.
The bill also allows those who lost CBD and hemp products during raids to retrieve their items if they can prove via lab tests that their products were produced legally.
The House committee made changes to the bill, including a clause that would make the bill effective immediately, as opposed to the traditional three months after the signature by the governor.
Another amendment requires permits for each type of product that can be made from hemp.
Previously, the bill only required permits for producers of CBD oil.
As a result of the changes, if the House passes the bill, the proposal will return to the Senate for approval.
Louisiana Hemp and CBD Bill Sent to Governor’s Desk
The Louisiana Senate and House approved a bill this week that would legalize hemp production and CBD products.
The House first voted on HB491, proposed by Republican Rep. Clay Schexnayder, on May 7 and passed the bill by a vote of 101-1.
The Senate approved the bill by a vote of 34-2 on June 1.
Since the Senate made several amendments, the House had to vote on the measure again.
The House unanimously passed the proposal with the Senate’s amendments two days later.
“Every single farmer that I’ve been in contact with is for this bill,” said Sen. Norby Chabert.
The bill prohibits hemp growing for individual use, allows the Louisiana Department of Agriculture to conduct random inspections, and gives the department several powers in enforcement and regulation of hemp.
“This is one of the most restrictive programs in the country,” said Sen. Bret Allain.
According to the proposal, Louisiana must send the USDA its regulatory plan by November 1 of this year.
For CBD products, the bill gives regulations for how CBD can be sold but does not allow CBD to be added to food or beverages unless the FDA updates its regulations.
HB491 now awaits the governor’s signature.
If the governors in Louisiana and Ohio, as well as Texas, enact their respective bills, 47 states will have legalized hemp and hemp-derived CBD.
Fed to Tell Banks They Can Work With Hemp Companies
An official for the Federal Reserve has reaffirmed that financial institutions can work with hemp companies without fear of breaking federal law.
In a confirmation hearing for a renewed term, Federal Reserve board member Michelle Bowman was pressed by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) about the message banks were hearing from the Fed in regard to servicing hemp businesses.
“We absolutely tell them that it’s not our job or our role to tell them who their customers should be and that they should understand what their business strategies and risks are with respect to any customer that they have,” said Bowman.
When Tester explicitly asked if the Fed had told banks they could offer their services to hemp businesses, Bowman replied, “We have not told them that they cannot bank them.”
Tester said he believed that while he and Bowman seemed to agree that banks can work with hemp companies, it did not seem that banks were on the same page.
The Montana senator added that since hemp has the potential to help farmers, the Fed should be proactive about the matter.
“I would agree with you. We would not discourage banks from banking these types of customers,” said Bowman. “We’ll try to clarify that hemp is not an illegal crop.”
“That’s what I wanted to hear,” said Tester. “Thank you very, very much.”
Hemp businesses have reported difficulties in accessing credit and other financial services from banks despite hemp becoming a federally legal crop with the 2018 Farm Bill.
Fortunately, Square recently offered a pilot program for hemp companies, providing much-needed payment processing services.